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What happens if I get into a fight in college?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

In an environment full of partying, alcohol and a lack of maturity, it is easy for something minor to evolve into a full-fledged fight. If you are caught fighting, you may face legal penalties in addition to disciplinary action from your university. These consequences can severely hurt any college student’s future.

Your university may turn on you

Universities frequently aim to uphold a certain level of status and public image. They accomplish this by enforcing rules on student conduct and having zero tolerance for violence. Students who engage in violence risk heavy punishments such as expulsion, suspension and the loss of academic benefits such as scholarships.

Your campus life may also suffer. Being involved in a brawl could harm your reputation, forcing other students, faculty and organizations to avoid you on campus.

You may face criminal charges

Many students in college are legal adults. It is possible that your university will turn you and any other participants over to the local police. If you started the fight, you could be arrested for assault. You may be granted bail or ordered to appear in court.

There are two types of assault in Florida: simple and aggravated. Simple assault is a misdemeanor punishable by 60 days in jail or six months probation, as well as a $500 fine. Meanwhile, aggravated assault is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Using deadly weapons or assaulting someone to commit another crime is usually considered aggravated assault.

Anyone you hurt during the fight may sue you or your parents for damages. If this happens, you will have to defend yourself in court, negotiate your charges or pay a high fine.

In contrast to high school, where misbehavior might be dealt with through detention, infractions in college can have serious consequences. An assault charge will almost always end up on your criminal record, which can make it difficult for you to continue school or find work. Before you allow your emotions to get the best of you, take a step back and look for other ways to resolve your situation without resorting to violence.